By Peter Barry Chowka
Exclusive to The Hagmann Report. Proponents of government-run health care – whether it’s Medicare, Obamacare, or full-bore socialist single-payer – insist that it will improve Americans’ health and lower the costs. It is also claimed that right now there is no alternative other than moving the country in the extreme leftward direction toward a more socialist medical system. Meanwhile, socialist medicine has failed everywhere that it’s been tried – including right here in the U.S. since the imposition of socialist-light Obamacare in 2010.
Now there is evidence – a smoking gun, in effect – that confirms the true intent of the wonks, the bureaucrats, the globalists, and the Deep State actors behind government-run health care: Its purpose is not to provide effective health care at all but to exert total control over the population.
On March 21, 2010, the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare – a true abomination that transformed the entire U.S. health care system – was successfully rammed through the Democrat-controlled U.S. Congress on a narrow, straight party line vote. The Obamacare law was 2,300 pages long and the Obama administration subsequently issued over 20,000 pages of additional regulations associated with it. For the first time in history, using the IRS as the enforcer, the law mandated that all Americans must purchase an expensive government-approved conventional health insurance plan – whether they wanted to or not. This onerous requirement is known as the “individual mandate.” An annual penalty or tax was part of Obamacare. If you didn’t purchase the mandated insurance, you had to pay an increasing percentage of your income to the IRS which was given new enforcement powers and 17,000 new agents to enforce compliance under the new law.
The predictable results of this draconian law were that the cost of health insurance premiums for the middle class rose precipitously and millions of Americans lost their doctors and their favorite health care plans, notwithstanding the oft-repeated bald faced lies by Obama that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact chose Obama’s lies about Obamacare as its “lie of the year” in 2013.
Since 2010, the forces of the Shadow Government and the Medical-Industrial complex, with the connivance of the mainstream media, have been able to successfully spin Obamacare as a great benefit that should be kept and not repealed. Widespread initial opposition to the law – which helped to give birth to the Tea Party – by 2017 was replaced by majority support for it, according to public opinion polls.
The Smoking Gun
There have been clear indications along the way that Obamacare was sold to the American people under false pretenses. For example, one of its leading architects, MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, was outed when a recording emerged of him admitting to an audience in 2014 that Democrats relied on “the stupidity of the American voter” for Obamacare to become law.
The real smoking gun confirming unequivocally the insidious intentions of the people behind Obamacare came on Monday morning, March 22, 2010. The day before, Obamacare passed the Congress in a party line vote and on March 23 it was signed into law in a triumphant ceremony at the White House by President Barack Hussein Obama. On that Monday morning, John Dingell, the senior Democrat member of the House of Representatives who represented a district in southeast Michigan that included parts of Detroit, appeared by telephone on a local Detroit talk radio program, The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR AM.
Dingell had supported single-payer, government-run socialist health care since he entered the Congress in 1955. His father, John Dingell, Sr., who spent 22 years representing the same district in Congress before Dingell, Jr., was also a supporter of socialized medicine. (After Dingell, Jr. retired in 2015 at age 88, his second wife Debbie, 28 years his junior, stood for election to succeed her husband and won. She continues to represent the district and, her health permitting, will likely hold the seat for the next two or three decades. The three Dingells – John, Sr., John, Jr., and Debbie – have continuously represented the same Congressional district in Michigan without a break for the past 85 years!)
In 2010, John Dingell, Jr. was given credit by his Democrat colleagues for helping to push the Obamacare legislation through the Congress. Obama gifted Dingell with one of the pens that he used to sign the Affordable Care Act into law. Speaking on the radio in Detroit, exulting in his and the Democrats’ victory on the morning after the close legislative win, this is what John Dingell said:
Let me remind you this [Americans allegedly dying because of the lack of government-run universal health care] has been going on for years. We are bringing it to a halt. The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.
“To control the people.” There it was. Finally. In plain, simple English. Unequivocal and clear as a bell.
When American Thinker published my short article on March 24, 2010 about what Dingell had said two days earlier – bringing an obscure local radio interview that would otherwise have been overlooked into the light of day for all to see and hear – it was picked up by a wide variety of media, including HotAir, where Ed Morrissey wondered if Dingell had uttered “the mother of all Freudian slips.” Michelle Malkin included reference to Dingell’s comments in an article on March 24, 2010 at her Web site. The story also made its way to the Gateway Pundit, RedState, the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, the Washington Times, and Fox News. The most extensive analysis of what Dingell said including its context and ramifications was published at CentristNet. All of these outlets credited American Thinker and me for unearthing the nugget about “control” spoken by Dingell. Discussion of Dingell’s “control the people” admission also occurred on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and Bill O’Reilly’s prime time Fox News cable TV program.
Dinegll’s office was quick to issue a response. On March 24, 2010, an official statement was posted on Dingell’s government Web site, titled “Dingell Statement Clarifying Comments on Paul W. Smith Show – Right-Wing Blogs [sic] Attempt to Smear Congressman’s Words About Oversight of Insurance Companies Appalling Rescission Practices.”
Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15), made the following statement this morning to clarify a comment he made yesterday [March 22, 2017] on WJR 760AM in Detroit on the Paul W. Smith Show, a comment which is now being distorted by right-wing blogs for political purposes.
“Right-wing bloggers are attempting to take my words out-of-context in another pathetic attempt to destroy the historic step taken yesterday for our country. During an interview on Paul W. Smith’s show, I said:
‘The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.’
“If one were to listen to the entire interview, and not just a clip creatively chopped up for political gain, it is obvious that by ‘people’ I was referring to the insurance companies who we must do a better job of overseeing. Specifically, we are going to end the deplorable practices of those who rescind the health insurance policies of people on gurneys heading into emergency rooms.”
The problem with the pathetic spin put out by Dingell’s office is that the interview was not “chopped up” (edited). The essential section of the Q & A was excerpted and transcribed accurately without any editing. Dingell’s entire 12-minute and 22-second-long March 22, 2010 appearance on Paul W. Smith’s WJR program – completely unedited – can be streamed or downloaded from this page. The listener can judge for himself what Dingell said and what he meant.
The failure in 2017 of the Republicans in Congress to repeal Obamacare, in particular the individual mandate, coupled with the increasing approval of Obamacare and support for – gasp – single-payer, are not promising signs. However, early versions of the tax reform legislation being considered in the Congress (early December 2017) include a provision to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate.
This is my sixth article in an ongoing series for The Hagmann Report about health care. Below are links to the previous five (and one article from July 2017 at American Thinker).
It Was 40 Years Ago When My Suspicions About Fake News Were Confirmed (As I was Reporting From Washington, D.C. on the War on Cancer) November 15, 2017
Baby Charlie Gard: It Can’t Happen Here – or Can It? July 20, 2017 at American Thinker
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, health care, media, and popular culture. Between 1992-’94 he served as an advisor to the National Institutes of Health. Follow Peter on Twitter @pchowka.
By Peter Barry Chowka
Would you feel comfortable going to a doctor who supports government-run, socialist–communist health care? That may be the decision you have to make now in light of this very disturbing news. Because a majority of American medical doctors now support single-payer socialized medicine.
First, a little history. For the past century, socialists, progressives, communists, statists, and an increasing number of Democrats have supported the imposition of a government-run socialized medical care system in the United States. Every Democrat president since FDR (except JFK and possibly Jimmy Carter) has spoken in favor of or introduced a plan for socialized medicine. Now, it finally appears that a critical mass has been achieved and the Rubicon has been crossed.
A Quinnipiac University national poll on August 3, 2017 reported “Replacing the current health care system with a single payer system in which Medicare covers every American citizen is a good idea, voters say 51-38 percent.” This reported majority support for single-payer – a scheme supported by Sen. Bernie Sanders and most other leading Democrats – reflects recent samplings of public opinion by Pew Research and other polling organizations. Citing a September 28, 2017 Quinnipiac survey, a CNN article on September 30, “Majority of Democratic voters are all-in on single-payer,” further advanced the story:
Asked in a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday whether they support a single-payer system, in which the federal government would expand Medicare to cover the medical expenses of every American citizen, nearly two in three Democratic voters (65%) said it was a “good idea.”
That result mostly fell in line with other recent surveys, which have shown increased backing among liberals and independents, with a slight upward trend across the board.
But the Quinnipiac poll pushed harder, incorporating another key detail into a subsequent question – the specter of a tax hike.
“Would you think that a single-payer system is a good idea or a bad idea if it removed all health insurance premiums, but also increased your taxes?” the pollsters asked. With the added information, support dropped, but not as much as one might expect. Fifty-nine percent, just slightly down from 65%, still called it a “good idea.”
A “good idea” now that was once considered anathema and un-American
During the entire 20th century, the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest organization of physicians, strongly opposed socialized medicine. By and large, most of the American people and their political leaders were with the AMA. That began to change in 1993 when Bill and Hillary Clinton pushed their unsuccessful but groundbreaking national health care reform plan right out of the box. Meanwhile, medical education, like most higher education around that time, had institutionalized promoting socialism and indoctrinating new students in collectivist concepts like “health care as a right.” The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) in particular took up the charge for government-run health care and the nation’s nursing associations, hotbeds of social justice, socialism, and radical, anti-hierarchy activism, also started mobilizing for the long march ahead.
Another recent survey has found that a majority of the nation’s doctors – not just idealistic medical students – are now for the first time finally and fully on board with government-guaranteed and -run universal health care. This revelation suggests that another long-standing wall against socialized medicine has been breached. MDLinx: “The majority of United States physicians—56%—support a single-payer health care system,” according to the survey, conducted by Merritt Hawkins, a Dallas-based physician recruitment search firm.
The survey relied on detailed responses from over one thousand licensed physicians who were asked about single-payer. According to the MDLinx article:
The 2017 results, according to a Merritt Hawkins news release, “contrast with a national survey of physicians Merritt Hawkins conducted in 2008, which indicated that 58 percent of physicians opposed single-payer at that time while 42 percent supported it.” Merritt Hawkins cites four reasons why a growing number of physicians are now in favor of single-payer. “First, they are seeking clarity and stability.”
Second, it’s a generational issue. The various surveys that Merritt Hawkins has conducted for The Physicians Foundation in the past show that younger doctors are more accepting of Obamacare, ACOs, EHR, and change in general than are older physicians As the new generation of physicians comes up, there is less resistance among doctors to single-payer.
Third, there is a feeling of resignation rather than enthusiasm among some physicians about single-payer. These physicians believe we are drifting toward single payer and would just as soon get it over with. [emphasis added.] The 14% of physicians surveyed who said they “somewhat” support single-payer are probably in this group.
Fourth, there is a philosophical change among physicians that I think the public and political leaders on both sides of the aisle now share, which is that we should make an effort to cover as many people as possible.
Travis Singleton, Senior Vice President of Merritt Hawkins, commented: “Physicians appear to have evolved on single-payer. Whether they are enthusiastic about it, are merely resigned to it, or are just seeking clarity, single-payer is a concept many physicians appear to be embracing.”
Some of the comments by doctors who responded to the Merritt Hawkins survey as reported by MDLinx are revealing.
“As a CPA and an MD, I believe strongly in a single-payer system that removes the insurance industry from the medical delivery system. We must restore the sacred relationship between patient and physician, and only when we move toward a single-payer system can we ever restore it,” said pediatrician Craig M. Uhl, MD, of Palm Desert, CA.
“A governmental program with basic insurance paid by income taxes and contracted out to insurance companies by the individual states with standard forms, denials, and expected payments would simplify medical practice,” said OB/GYN and professor emeritus Selman Welt, MD, of Johnson City, TN. “Despite all the complaints against Medicare and Medicaid, they pay promptly and you know how they will react and how to make appeals. Then if some people want a more deluxe plan, the insurance companies can provide that with a second tier of standardized services.”
“We would probably earn less per patient, but more people would get needed health care so it would average the same,” said psychiatrist Jed Shapiro, MD, of Boulder, CO.
“Currently, medical and surgical subspecialists are overpaid (and ideally should earn less) and generalists are underpaid (and ideally should earn more),” said cardiologist Wade Martin, MD, of St. Louis, MO.
Not all of the respondents were enthralled with the possibility of single-payer.
“I do not care about the money,” said osteopath and family medicine physician Harold Kornylak, DO, of Virginia Beach, VA. “It would destroy free choice, individual responsibility, innovation, and make medical care like working for McDonald’s.”
The field of innovative alternative medicine has sold out, too
At one time in fairly recent history, for example during the 1970s and ‘80s, the growing field of innovative alternative medicine was a hotbed for support for medical freedom and many alternative medicine providers and patients were active politically in that area of ensuring medical freedom of choice. That began to change in the 1990s when, as I can report from personal experience, many among the new generation of natural medicine students and practitioners began to be influenced by, and then started espousing, pro-socialist ideas relating to medical care.
Eventually, entire professions of so-called alternative medicine were seduced and co-opted to abandon their commitments to medical freedom and pluralism and jump on the bandwagon of single-payer. Insidiously, federal agencies at the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere burrowed in the Deep State bureaucracy, supposedly established to integrate alternative medicine into the mainstream, assisted in that co-optation and seduction.
The collectivist impulse that is enveloping society has now blossomed into full-scale support for socialized medicine on the part of natural health care physicians’ groups, like those representing licensed naturopathic doctors. A 2013 article about Obamacare published by a leading naturopathic medical school, Bastyr University in Washington, for example, was titled “Health Care Reform Extends Reach of Naturopathic Medicine.” That same year, the author of an article at the Web site of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians wrote glowingly about a particular section of Obamacare, that it “offers naturopathic medicine a true watershed, and we’re making the most of this golden opportunity.”
One of innovative medicine’s most acclaimed practitioners, the late Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., spoke frequently about the Faustian bargain represented by socialized medicine and its fellow traveling Pied Pipers. He pointed to government-controlled health care’s incompatibility with medical innovation and freedom. When Gonzalez passed away suddenly in July 2015, the world lost a clear and articulate voice for sanity in health care, including the politics of medicine.
In 2005, in a lengthy interview that I did with Gonzalez on socialized medicine, he commented:
Medical science always thrives when there’s freedom to think independently. Socialized medicine doesn’t allow that because it requires physicians to practice according to preset standards. That’s the way the Canadian system is. You can’t deviate from those standards at all. The trouble is that medicine is not a fixed science. It requires creativity, originality in thinking in new ways. Socialized medicine doesn’t allow that. If socialized medicine worked, they would have had to build a Berlin Wall to keep people out. Instead, they had to build the Berlin Wall to keep people in because they were trying to escape socialism and socialized medicine.
Peter Chowka has reported on health care, with an emphasis on alternative medicine, since 1972. Between 1992-’94 he was an advisor to the National Institutes of Health. His Web site is AltMedNews.net. Follow Peter on Twitter. An archive of Peter’s articles at The Hagmann Report can be accessed here.
By Peter Barry Chowka
The short life of Charlie Gard came to an end on Friday afternoon, July 28 (London time) when the baby, who had become an international cause célèbre, died at a hospice one week shy of his first birthday. A British High Court judge had ordered the move from hospital to hospice, and that Charlie be disconnected from a respirator so that he could die. On Friday evening, Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, announced that her only child had passed away earlier that afternoon.
As the Telegraph reported at 6:56 PM Friday London time (1:56 PM US EDT), in a dispatch by its chief reporter Robert Mendick:
At just after 6.30 this evening, [Charlie’s] mother, Connie Yates, announced: “Our beautiful little boy has gone.” The breathing tube attached to a ventilator had been removed. He is thought to have died a few minutes later.
Charlie’s story gained major international attention as a result of his parents’ efforts to challenge his British doctors and have their son transferred to New York for innovative experimental therapy at Columbia University Medical Center for his extremely rare and fatal condition, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Since April, Yates and Charlie’s father Chris Gard have been in and out of court battling the London hospital where Charlie had been a patient since he was two months old. Legal rulings, including an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, consistently went against the wishes of the parents.
The British doctors had opposed Charlie’s move to New York since February, claiming that his medical prognosis was hopeless and that he should be allowed to die. The heartbreaking case quickly catapulted to the top domestic news story in England and in recent weeks it has drawn major attention and media coverage in scores of countries around the world, with input in support of the parents coming from Pope Francis and President Donald Trump – all of it to no avail in terms of influencing a different legal outcome.
On Monday of this week, the parents conceded that their battle had come to an end and agreed that Charlie should be allowed to pass on. The final disagreement and unresolved debate with the hospital went on until Thursday afternoon, centering around on how long Connie Yates and Chris Gard would have to say goodbye to Charlie before he was disconnected from life support.
The end came quickly after Mr. Justice Francis decreed Charlie’s move to hospice and disconnection from his ventilator in a terse order dated Wednesday and released by the High Court in London on Thursday. Within 24 hours, Charlie was gone.
The death of baby Charlie does not resolve the difficult issues that were raised during months of legal wrangling. The main disagreement involved who should decide the medical treatment, and the fate, of a sick child – his parents or the state, representing the will of the doctors. In the UK, physicians work for the state where the system of health care delivery is government-controlled, single-payer socialized medicine.
In the United States, with single-payer now being proposed by the leadership of the Democratic Party, and a growing number of voters supporting the system according to public opinion polls, Americans were paying particularly close attention to the Charlie Gard story – many of them not without a feeling of fear and dread for what may be in store for the USA.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care. His new Web site is AltMedNews.net. Peter’s July 28, 2017 90-minute long interview on The Hagmann Report in which the Charlie Gard story was discussed at length can be viewed here. Peter’s segment begins 31 minutes into the program.
By Peter Barry Chowka
In the midst of the myriad destructive elements that are plaguing modern society or quickly coming into play, the looming transformation of the medical system in the United States into a single-payer socialist nightmare is one of the most alarming developments facing us.
The inability of the Republican-controlled Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare, and the increasing popularity of a single-payer system, suggest that socialized medicine cannot be kept at bay for much longer. Leaders of the Democratic Party, including prominent contenders for the party’s 2020 nomination for President, now support the concept of single-payer. The current debate in the media and political circles — dominated by disagreements over costs, how many people might “lose coverage,” the issue of preexisting conditions, and cuts to Medicaid — overlooks a key point: the fact that government-run socialized medicine at its core is evil. Once enacted, it will be one of the final nails in the coffin of Americans’ increasingly tenuous hold on individual liberty and freedom.
The threats to freedom of choice that single-payer represents will impact not only the availability and quality of life-saving drugs, surgery, end of life care, and other mainstays of the American health care system. It will also adversely impact the growing field of alternative medicine that — largely under the radar of official attention — has gained the interest and support of about one-half of the adult population.
It’s All About Control — and Making Money
On March 21, 2009 Obamacare was rammed through an overwhelmingly Democrat-controlled Congress on a straight party line vote. Obamacare represented a major step forward in the long march toward socialized medicine — helping as it did to establish widespread public acceptance of the concept of “health care as a right.”
H.R. 3590 The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare (2009-2010) Photo credit
The day after the Obamacare vote, the senior member of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), a strong supporter of government-run health care since he first got elected to the Congress in the mid-1950s, appeared as a guest on a local Detroit radio program. I learned about the Dingell interview courtesy of someone in Detroit who heard the broadcast and posted a comment about it at a blog that I stumbled upon. After some research, I was able to identify the Detroit talk show — it was the Paul W. Smith program on radio station WJR — and locate an audio file of the Dingell segment on WJR’s Web site before it scrolled offline.